Last updated on August 22nd, 2023 at 01:24 pmReading Time: 2 minutes
Just for once I’m not referring to myself but somebody else, honest, and You’ve Been A Very Naughty Boy.
I have been so caught up with COVID-19 and the myriad of other things going on that I took my eye completely off the AB1 ball.
Some of you will no doubt remember that some time ago I post a blog post regarding The Curious Case of Police Car AB1.
Time has passed and the matter has been resolved (pardon me if I laugh). I’m not sure how I missed it, but miss it I did.
Be assured, the West Mercia Police and Crime Panel have given this matter their full attention and have come to a decision. He shouldn’t have done it!!
The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr John-Paul Campion, was cleared of acting dishonestly but the panel DID criticise him for failing to achieve ‘Best Value’ for the Number Plate.
You may recall it was withdrawn from auction and sold privately for a lower sum than the highest bid received by the auction house. It was sold for £160,000 despite a higher bid of £305,000 being made to the auction house.
The panel decided that Mr Campion DID have the authority to sell off the number but whether he SHOULD have done is a matter for his conscience.
“There was no evidence it was improper for the PCC to be involved in the sale of AB1 to the purchaser, as there was no evidence the purchaser was a friend of the PCC or closely connected to him.”
So, who the hell did he sell it to then? The answer to that my dear reader is a man called Paul West who is a former Chief Constable of West Mercia Police.
To be scrupulously fair it is right to note the chain events here. The Number Plate AB1 was lodged with the auction house on July 15th 2017, Mr West made his offer privately, outside of the auction process on 17th July, the item was withdrawn from sale on the 18th July and on 19th July an anonymous bidder offered a higher price by e-mail.
“The PCC stated he considered he was legally bound to accept the purchaser’s offer. With hindsight he accepted it would have been better to have continued negotiations with the person offering £305k.”
“The PCC had been somewhat naïve in putting himself in this position and processes should be improved to ensure best value is received for sale of assets in the future,”
In the spirit of fairness and good sport I will let Mr Campion have the final word on this matter, what I think, even as resident of West Mercia, is of little consequence.
“The panel’s report is clear I had the right to sell the registration, that the sale was conducted with integrity and it was sold to the person who made the highest bid while AB1 was on the market. The panel’s recommendations are noted.”